the bones of the old black dog.
you dug in the wrong spot. a lot of time had passed, years
and years, and you didn't remember that he was down there.
cold dirt and bones in the winter sunshine. memories
that get stirred up. how he suffered so at the end
and there was just no money for a vet to put him down.
you waited for the end together, you offered him his favorites,
a bit of meat, some cheese, peanut butter, a big bone.
and he was grateful for that, you could tell, he wagged
but he didn't eat any more, and he didn't drink the water.
he went out with a whimper, the saddest sound you would hear
for a long time. and it was late at night, the family was asleep,
and you don't know why you didn't wait until morning,
but instead brought him out here and put him under the earth,
crying all alone in the dark. and now? there's his old skull,
and there's his spine and his paws, his ribs. and you sit down
on the dirt beside him and say goodbye all over again.
then you cover him over for a second time and go back
into the now empty house and you sit alone and silent
in the living room with the drapes closed. and you say nothing.
Hamlet -- Ronald Gower